My first introduction with the Oura Ring came from Kevin Rose - the founder of Digg, and later went on to found Zero Fasting. Kevin recommended Oura Ring to his newsletter readers back in Aug 2017. At the time, the Ring was bulky and much larger. It was the first version of the Ring.

Then the Oura Ring hit the news cycle over their partnership with the NBA and how the Ring can help detect if someone has COVID-19. Around the same time, I decided to buy myself the Oura Ring. I've now had the Ring for over two months, wearing it almost 24/7, only taking it off to charge every few days.

I've subscribed to the data-driven lifestyle for years now, tracking data since early 2016. I use an Apple Watch Series 1, the Gyroscope app with Last FM, Rescue Time, and Moves. Adding the Oura Ring has been one of the best decisions to date. Let's dive into what the Ring does and how it's worth the price.

Oura Ring 1.0:

Oura Ring 1.0

What the Oura Ring Does

The Oura tracks heart rate, body temperature, active and passive calorie burn, respiratory rate, and sleep quality. Oura claims that the heart rate and heart-rate variability is better because the skin is thinner on the ring finger. Plus, constant contact with the skin helps collects more accurate data.

The most significant selling point for Oura is body temp monitoring. This unique feature allows the data to warn users when they potentially have the Flu or COVID-19. This feature is chiefly why the NBA bought every player a ring while in the Disney Bubble.

At $299, the price isn't far off from an Apple Watch or other fitness devices. It does do more limited workout tracking than an Apple Watch.

Why I bought the Oura Ring?

The biggest draw to the Oura Ring is the unobtrusive design. Wearing a Ring hasn't been my style before, and I've never worn a ring before. Having a device that didn't get added to my wrist was a significant appeal. Plus, I had times when I didn't want to wear my watch. This caused gaps in my data. Having a 24/7 device that didn't have a screen is another plus.

Another big reason was the battery life. Oura claims the battery life is ten days, but I often get around 6 or 7 days. Still, way better than the Apple Watches 18 to 24 hours.

I also wanted a device that could help add more data to the Gyroscope app. I'm currently using Gyroscope X, which is a health coaching service within the app. They're using the data from my smart devices and apps.

My Thoughts on the Ring

As I mentioned, I've had the Ring now for a little over two months. It's come off my ring finger a handful of times to charge. Otherwise, it's on my finger tracking data. The Ring has blended into my daily life, where most days I forget that I am wearing it. The lack of notifications and passive tracking makes it appealing if you're trying to avoid looking at another screen. It's a high-quality device that I often prefer to keep on all the time over a Watch.

Oura provides a daily "readiness score". This score takes into account your quality of sleep, activity, and other metrics. It's one of the only tracking devices and apps to provide a score that gives you an analysis of what's increasing or decreasing your score. The biggest appeal for me is this score. I can see if I am taking care of myself or if I need to work harder to stay healthy and get more rest. The limited activity tracking still means if you're working out, you'd need to pair with something like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.

The only big gripe I had with Oura has been the purchase process. The ring sizing kit comes via ground shipping. Then the actual Ring ships from Norway via DHL. Since its international shipping, there is no tracking code and took about eight days to get to my door once ordering. The whole process took about 16 days, from paying to getting the actual device.

Pros:

  1. Design
  2. Easy to Use App & Readiness Score
  3. Waterproof
  4. Advanced Sleep Tracking

Cons:

  1. Matte Design is Easily Scratched
  2. Weak Activity (Workout) Tracking
  3. Long Purchase Process